Activists protest against Columbia payday loan office
COLUMBIA - Activists will rally outside a payday lending store Tuesday, protesting for more protections for consumers against short term, high-interest loans.
Volunteers from Grass Roots Organizing (GRO), will wear hazmat suits and tape off Quik Cash off East Broadway, which they call a "toxic" payday loan store.
The event is a part of a day of action coordinated by National People's Action as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau works to write new rules that could limit the interest rates payday lenders could charge on a loan, which now often fall in the triple digits.
MU Personal Finance Professor Michael Guillemette said people should only use payday lenders as a last resort.
"Before using that option, I would highly encourage people to get debt counseling," Guillemete said. "Because unless you can pay that short-term loan back in a few days, you'll end up in a vicious cycle of debt, because the interest on a short-term loan will continue to go up over time."
Guillemete said payday loans often charge 300 to 500 percent interest on short-term loans. He also said people with poor credit scores often have no other place to go for short-term loans. Missouri is one of 35 states across the country that authorizes payday lending in some form.
A spokesperson for Quik Cash said they have no comment on the rally.